A Taste of Old Scottsdale

The WWW Scottsdale trip began with a welcome gathering for drinks and appetizers in the newly renovated lounge of our hotel – The Marriott Suites in Old Town Scottsdale. The hotel is ideally located in the heart of Old Scottsdale within easy walking distance of the Arts District, the” Waterfront” (overlooking a canal), and Fashion Square. There are many great restaurants nearby, so after drinks off we went to check out some nightlife!

With only three full days to explore the area, we were kept busy! We started with a free Trolley ride through Old Scottsdale to get our bearings, and then did a self-guided walking tour of the outdoor art exhibits in the area. We stopped for lunch en route to our first afternoon of shopping at Fashion Square. That evening, we “Walked The Line” – every Thursday evening, the art galleries and shops in Old Scottsdale remain open late and visitors are encouraged to stop at them all – following a line to over 100 galleries on Main Street and Marshall Way.

On Friday morning the group was invited to Ellie’s winter vacation home for breakfast. Ellie originally planned to cook for them herself, but since she was hosting the group, and driving that day, it wasn’t really possible. So wonder of wonders, two of her amazing friends (Marian and Margo) volunteered to cater a true Southwest breakfast feast for the group. It really was a marvel – they had fun doing it and the group loved every bite! Thanks so much to Margo and Marian for providing such a special experience!

After breakfast we were off to the Fountain Hills Festival of Arts and Crafts. The group got to see some of the countryside on the way to Fountain Hills and were bowled over by the sheer enormity of the event – with over 400 vendors displaying their wares. When we returned to Scottsdale, a decision had to be made – whether to go back to the hotel for a couple of hours or just carry on . . . which is what we did. We stopped at Kierland Commons – a lovely outdoor shopping mall and after looking around, the group gathered on Tommy Bahama’s patio for Happy Hour – a welcome bit of R & R before we carried on to the movies.

We didn’t just go to “any” theatre for this evening event – we went to an iPic Theatre in the new Scottsdale Quarter. This is an entertainment area unlike anything in Canada! Great restaurants, bars, shops and of course, an Apple Store surround the theatre. There were 8 films to choose from and we had pre-booked VIP seating, so we snuggled down for the show (Moneyball with Brad Pitt) in red suede lazy-boy recliners with foot-rests, pillows and blankets. Waiters were ready to take orders for wine and dinner to eat while we watched, though most of us had enough at Happy Hour, so just enjoyed the free popcorn that was provided.

Our final full day was also jam-packed. We were booked for a private tour with Arizona Food Tours called “A Taste of Old Scottsdale.” It was a 3 hour walking tour that took us to a great variety of foodie destinations, including the Rusty Spur Saloon and an ice cream parlor where all the ice cream is “spiked” with “spirits.”  That evening, our wind-up dinner was at a funky Mexican place called Frank & Lupe’s. We were able to sit outside on the patio and enjoy the ambiance as well as great margaritas and Mexican food.

All in all, a great way to end our Scottsdale Getaway!